Hate The Skyways? Join The Club!

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two downtown Minneapolis business owners are calling for people to avoid one of the area’s most iconic characters: the skyway system.

The true “series of tubes” is a superterranean, 11-mile maze that connects about 70 city blocks.

The skyways are embraced by thousands of downtown workers during the weekdays, and cursed by the hundreds who get lost inside on a daily basis.

Twin Cities bard Paul Westerberg even penned a wistful ballad for The Replacements about a street-side peon, wearing his “stupid hat and gloves,” who falls in love with a woman he sees comfortably strolling above. He wishes for the day when she’ll come down to his level.

Eric and Andrew Dayton, sons of Gov. Mark Dayton, also want skyway walkers to come down to the streets, which is why they founded the “Skyway Avoidance Society.”

(credit: Askov Finlayson)

(credit: Askov Finlayson)

Their manifesto, which can be found on Askov Finlayson’s website, states in part that Minnesotans need to embrace winter.

“We need to celebrate the cold and snow and everything that comes with it. This can’t be done in skyways,” reads the manifesto.

The creation of skyway system was originally supported by Eric and Andrew’s relatives in the 1960s — the same Daytons who created Target stores and the bygone Dayton’s department store chain.

Eric and Andrew co-own the clothing store Askov Finlayson, as well as The Bachelor Farmer restaurant and The Marvel Bar. All three businesses are in the skyway-deficient area of North 1st Street and North 2nd Avenue in the Warehouse District.

Their manifesto states that the skyway system goes against “everything Minneapolis was built on,” and it has led to the closure of several street-level businesses. This claim seems to be supported by the leaders and city planners of other Midwestern cities with skyways.

Oh, and the younger Daytons also seem to take umbrage with the classification of Minneapolis as a Midwestern city. They call the city the “Capital of the North,” with the word “North” finding its way on many of the items they sell at Askov Finlayson.

Read their full manifesto, and perhaps take their pledge, here.

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